BC’s property tax increases: What has been the impact of the 2018 changes?

Mar 8, 2022
Four years ago, the 2018 BC Budget introduced a number of new taxes in support of an affordable housing agenda. The taxes, along with new spending measures and renter protections, were part of the government’s Homes for BC 30-point housing plan and included: Higher provincial property taxes (Additional School Tax) for homes assessed at more… View Article

Upzoning and housing affordability

Mar 3, 2022
With the 2022 municipal elections now in sight—and a housing affordability crisis that’s as bad as ever—the City of Vancouver has embarked on two new directions for more dense housing in its detached-housing neighbourhoods. These moves are modest but point to the type of new housing supply needed region-wide. First, as part of a new… View Article

What happened to the National Housing Strategy?

Mar 1, 2022
Launched in 2017, the National Housing Strategy (NHS) was billed as a major re-engagement by the federal government on affordable housing after more than two decades on the sidelines. Starting with a headline commitment of $40 billion when first announced and supplemented in subsequent budgets, the NHS is now ostensibly valued at more than $75… View Article

BC budget moves in the right direction but too slowly to address pressing challenges like housing, climate, toxic drug supply and poverty

Feb 24, 2022
With COVID centre stage for the past two years, Budget 2022 marked a shift back to normal. Yes, the budget earmarks $2 billion in contingencies for potential COVID needs, but this took up a mere half page of the main budget document. The budget narrative instead is framed around child care, climate change and investments… View Article

As deadline looms, what’s BC government’s plan for 15,000 businesses who will soon be violating provincial water laws?

Feb 21, 2022
In just days from now, March 1 to be exact, the BC government is going to find itself in difficult straits. That’s the day that all businesses in the province who rely on well water or groundwater to run their operations must, by law, have applied for a licence to continue to use that water…. View Article

Energy giant Drax’s monopoly of BC’s wood pellet industry must be investigated

Feb 16, 2022
The following letter has been sent to Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition, Competition Bureau of Canada. Dear Mr. Boswell, We write today to formally request that the Competition Bureau of Canada investigate the Drax Group’s dominant position in the wood pellet industry in British Columbia, Alberta and Canada more generally. The company has monopolized much… View Article

Why increasing government spending makes economic sense

Feb 14, 2022
Author’s note: The latest BC government throne speech promised “to help solve big challenges – like inequality and climate change – with growth that is inclusive and sustainable.” CCPA-BC will closely analyze the upcoming BC Budget to determine whether the government’s intention is backed by the increased levels of public investment needed to meet the… View Article

Modernizing BC’s Oil and Gas Royalty Regime to Tackle Climate Change

Feb 7, 2022
In 2021, BC got a full serving of extreme weather events due to global warming. It is clear that the BC government must speed up meaningful action to phase out domestic consumption and production of fossil fuels that are the principal cause of climate change. The BC government’s current review of the royalty regime for… View Article

Time to reform the unfair Home Owner Grant—here’s how

Jan 28, 2022
Early January showed how much BC’s housing system is biased towards existing homeowners to the detriment of renters and housing affordability. First, the latest property value assessments in BC revealed double-digit increases across the board. Large annual increases, such as the 16 per cent hike we see in the City of Vancouver, have become the… View Article

BC should look to zero waste solutions to reduce GHG emissions and create jobs

Jan 24, 2022
British Columbia is ahead of most North American jurisdictions in implementing composting and recycling programs. Yet, we are systemically burdened by endless amounts of packaging, especially the mass proliferation of plastic, which is an environmental tragedy of our times. BC shares the core problem with other jurisdictions: a culture of consumption and an extraction-oriented economic… View Article

Water protection must be a top public policy priority

Jan 14, 2022
The devastating floods that destroyed homes, farms, highways, dikes and critical infrastructure during November’s record rains are both unprecedented and a climate change wake-up call. Let’s hope they are also a wake-up call for something else: our government’s failure to make water protection a top public policy priority. Over the past several years, the BC… View Article

COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for a living wage

Jan 11, 2022
With the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, news stories sounding the alarm over worker shortages are once again on the rise. And, like previous waves, these news stories are focused almost exclusively on workers in low-wage, precarious jobs. These jobs service large parts of the Canadian economy that are now being recognized as… View Article

The future of university divestment campaigns: Reflections from inside the movement

Jan 7, 2022
To an outsider, university divestment campaigns might look like a hopeful but impractical social movement led by naive cadres of sign-waving students. The truth, however, is that divestment is more successful and has more transformative potential than what first appears. Largely hidden but tightly woven connections between universities, finance and fossil fuels have provided ongoing… View Article
Photo of well sites in the Montney region of BC. Photo copyright Garth Lenz.

Key recommendations to the BC oil and gas royalty review

Dec 3, 2021
The oil and gas industry is a marginal player in BC’s overall economy, yet has far-reaching environmental impacts, is inconsistent with global climate action and undermines First Nations’ rights and title. And yet, since BC started to implement climate action targets and policies in 2007, gas production has doubled. In our submission to BC’s oil… View Article

The great tree robbery

Dec 2, 2021
As more old-growth trees topple and forest industry jobs plummet, an obscure government subsidy scheme fuels the collapse For more than 15 years, the BC government has rewarded logging companies with millions of additional old-growth trees to chop down thanks to an obscure “credit” program that allows companies to log bonus trees that don’t count… View Article

A flood of questions: As southern BC reels from epic flood, former provincial flood official says independent expert needs to investigate

Dec 1, 2021
Work at British Columbia’s River Forecast Centre is a little like trench warfare, long stretches of waiting followed by heart-racing action.  As a fresh recruit at the forecast centre, Allan Chapman’s first big action occurred only months into the job. In October 2003, an atmospheric river or “pineapple express” slammed into the southwest coast hitting… View Article

Can CleanBC reach its 2030 GHG target? A closer look at industrial emissions

Nov 29, 2021
In the wake of negotiations in Glasgow to push forward global climate action, it is clear that rich countries and jurisdictions like BC are not doing enough to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. On the heels of Glasgow, the massive flooding in southern BC should be another wake-up call on top of a year of… View Article

LNG exports will doom BC’s emissions reduction goals

Nov 26, 2021
When the provincial government announced its CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 on Oct. 25, conspicuously absent was any mention of BC’s LNG export aspirations, which will increase emissions from the oil and gas sector and likely doom any chance of meeting BC’s emissions reduction targets. The LNG Canada project under construction in Kitimat includes a gas-fired… View Article

BC oil and gas royalty review seriously flawed without consideration of water

Nov 25, 2021
By
Open letter to the provincial government As prospects grow for intensified gas extraction in our province, we applaud the provincial government’s decision to review British Columbia’s decades-old oil and gas royalty regime. This once in a generation review is essential, given the significant threats posed to the climate and the environment by continued fossil fuel… View Article

Next steps for federal housing policy: A look at 2021 election promises

Nov 18, 2021
Affordable housing was an important theme in the 2021 federal election, with all major parties tabling a range of policy actions. These include some high-profile promises with real potential to rein in financialization and speculation, along with a number of new incentives for first-time buyers, which are mostly gimmicks. Below I mostly consider the proposals… View Article